Reports and photos of some of our earlier walks have now been archived but are available to read as Word documents - please click here to make an email request, specifying date (if known but not essential) and location.
There are SIX reports below - please scroll down!
16 March - Upper Darnford and the Golden Valley
Only three intrepid birders turned up on a wild and windy morning. The rain kindly held off but the wind made birding very challenging. But the views and scenery were glorious as we walked along the ancient ridgeway known as the Port Way. We were delighted as a skylark took off right in front of us – almost stationary as it struggled against the wind.
As we walked down into the Golden Valley the wind defeated the usual stonechats but we could hear linnets. We were treated to a dramatic aerial display by a pair of ravens – seemingly thrilling to the wind. Siskin were heard in three areas and there were plenty of corvids about. A pied wagtail appeared near some barns. As we returned via Middle Darnford we saw Meadow Pipit and a kestrel.
Despite the wild weather, Carol, Janice and Isabel agreed it was a lovely walk and were pleased with a total of 18 species – a walk to repeat in calmer conditions! We enjoyed an excellent lunch at Bridges.
16 February 2019 - Colemere
Photo - Carol Wood
A total of 15 members turned up in near perfect weather conditions to see what the varied habitats of Colemere would reveal.
A quick scan from the car park end revealed a few Goldeneye & Tufted Duck and a passing flock of Lapwing probably headed for the nearby Wood Lane. The marsh area didn’t produce any Snipe but we did find Meadow Pipit & Reed Bunting.
On into the deciduous wood where we’d been hearing the Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming and one gave good views on one of the many dead trees. The woodland was busy with Tits, Nuthatch & finches all singing well as the warmer weather had somewhat lifted their spirits. Further along a Treecreeper gave excellent views as it remained in a cavity for some time giving everyone a chance to enjoy it.
Quite a number of Buzzards were seen along with two flyover Sparrowhawk sightings.
Near the top end better views of the Goldeneye were obtained along with Great Crested Grebe and two female Goosander. Group Leader Carol also dropped lucky when she saw two Brimstone butterfly enjoying the un-seasonally warm weather.
Nothing much more seen on the coniferous side of the mere but a few Common Gulls were identified amongst the Black-headed. In all 38 species identified.
A few of us then went onto to Ellesmere to enjoy the refreshments in the Boathouse. Many thanks to everyone who attended and made it a very enjoyable trip.
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19th December 2018 - Venus Pool
Seven hardy souls met in the car park at 10.00am on a dull morning with the temperature only just above freezing and a biting east wind. Good job I was wearing my thermal long-johns. In the trees we saw nuthatch, robin and blackbird. But it was now time to explore the three main areas.
The hides overlooking the main lake
Not as many ducks and geese as seen on previous winter visits, presumably due to the freezing wind. Those that braved the conditions were cormorants, teal, black-headed gulls, canada geese, wigeon, mallards, moorhens, shovellers, gadwall and coot; but none in great numbers. A solitary grey heron was standing in the middle of the water and flying overhead were crows, woodpigeons and magpies and, finally, a kestrel hovered in the wind.
The woodland hide
Walking to the hide the field on the left revealed a blue tit and 2 redwings, the only winter thrushes seen all morning. Unlike the lake, the woodland was teeming with birds and the feeders were constantly visited by great tits, chaffinches, blue tits, greenfinches and coal tits whilst on the ground dunnocks, blackbirds, robins, moorhens and a pheasant hoovered up the seeds dropped by the tits and finches. We waited a while and were eventually rewarded with a brambling and a great spotted woodpecker. Inevitably all this food also attracted 2 rats and a grey squirrel and a couple of mallards on the little pool.
The walk along the field to the causeway and around to the back hide
We decided to brave the elements and walk across the causeway to the hide on the far side. The saying ‘enough to freeze the proverbials off a brass monkey’ came to mind! Walking along the field, the hedge on the left was full of chaffinches and patrolling the edge of the field, looking for a meal, was a sparrowhawk. Crossing the causeway, the lake on the right contained a fair number of mute swans, some tufted ducks and a great crested grebe. The area in front of the back hide was deserted with only a solitary coot and a rabbit. We didn’t stay long but as we left the hide the field beween the conifers and the road had a small flock of lapwings.
We headed off early to the pub in order to warm up and have lunch and share the awful jokes in the Christmas crackers. Only 32 species in total whereas usually we see 45 to 50 but a nice morning nevertheless in good company.
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17th November 2018 - The River Teme, Ludlow
Photo: Carol Wood
22 people made the most of the late autumn sunshine to enjoy a short walk along the River Teme in Ludlow before climbing up into the woodland on the edge of Whitcliffe Common.
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20th October 2018 - Colstey Wood
Photo: Chris Bateman
Nick and Linda Pyne led us on a beautiful autumn walk through largely beech woods. We enjoyed the rich colours and were convinced we had seen a brambling! A peregrine was also seen in flight.
Thank you to the leaders who are in the middle of moving house but spared the time to take us on this enjoyable walk.
Birds seen: Wood pigeon, robin, great spotted woodpecker, wren, coal tit, blue tit, nuthatch, red kite, magpie, buzzard, mallard, jay, marsh tit, raven, carrion crow, jackdaw, bullfinch, blackbird moorhen and brambling.
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15th September 2018 - Severn Valley Country Park
Photos of Bob, Pam and friend and The River Severn.: Gail Ellis.
(Suggestions for a caption for the first photo on a postcard please! No prizes.)
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